Weather Watching

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Josh Walters, Freddy Ticas and Charles Case are going to gettheir landscaping done regardless of the heat.

Even on the days where the weather is in the triple digits, theguys are out in front of King’s Daughters Medical Center’s therapycomplex working on the landscaping.

“You’ve got to be tough to do this work,” Case said. “When weget new guys, sometimes they don’t make it.”

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But with the mercury rising is the summer, those whose day jobsare outdoors are not the only ones who need to watch the heat, somesafety officials said.

“If you’re doing yard work, I’d suggest early early morning orlate late evening, and always drink plenty of water to keepyourself hydrated,” said Copiah County Civil Defense DirectorRandle Drane. “Be sure and wear appropriate clothing like longsleeves and big hats. The sweat gets your clothes wet and keeps youcool, and it protects you from the sun.”

Drane said the summer has started off hot and it looks like itwill stay that way.

“They’ve got an advisory for excessive heat between June 27-29,”he said. I’d have to say July and August are going to be a littlehotter and stickier than normal, but that’s just my feelings on itfrom the information I try to read and gather.”

And there are several sources he checks, Drane said, includingthe Farmer’s Almanac.

“I have always been interested in the almanac, starting when Iwas a young boy because Mama and them always had one layingaround,” he said. “It always amazed me on how close they can be onwhat the weather actually does. I’d be interested to see where theyget the information for the almanac.”

According to, the Farmer’s Almanac “issuedlong-range weather forecasts based on obscure interpretations ofnatural phenomena, long before any weather service existed, andgenerations of farmers planted and harvested according to itsadvice.”

Meanwhile, National Weather Service Meteorologist Ariel Cohensaid Drane’s prediction is on target for what they know in hisoffice as well.

“At this point we’re looking for at least a 40 percent chancefor temperatures to be above normal, with a potential forprecipitation to be above normal,” he said. “But there’s a lot ofuncertainty in that.”

As to the accuracy of the almanac, Cohen was tight-lipped.

“I’m not sure about that,” he said.

And Drane admits there are some places where the almanac hasholes.

“The only bad thing about it is that the almanac doesn’t saymuch about hurricane season,” he said, adding that he has other,more updated sources for that.

The Internet can be a good filler where old methods fall short.Drane said he checks for all the latestpredictions, maps and radar images.

“It gives you more specifics, more charts, more comparisons onlatter years with the same conditions and what happened as to whatwe could expect,” he said. “It’s saying we’re going to have a worseyear, a more active year this year. It’s telling us that the GulfCoast area, states like Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi andFlorida, are the higher risk.”

Cohen said Tropical Storm Alex is threatening Texas and showersare predicted for Southwest Mississippi all week.

“There are many uncertainties on the exact track, but a lot ofindications are that center will track west, but the moisture willhave the potential to bring us rainfall as we get to later in theweek, but there’s quite a bit of uncertainty as to where theheavier rainfall will be,” he said. “We’ll need to continue tomonitor that, but there is potential for heavy rainfall through theweek.”

Drane said it’s a good idea for amateur weather enthusiasts tostart brushing up on their knowledge beyond what the television canbring in.

“Nothing’s perfect, it’s all just predictions,” he said. “But Ihave noticed that some are more accurate than others.”